Monday, March 29, 2010

Zumbo Goodies, The Essential Ingredient (again), Rosewater Cupcakes & Tetsuya inspired Dinner by Candle Light for Earth Hour

        So it's Saturday morning and I open my eyes and look at the clock to realise it's only 8am - way too early! I like to sleep in on the weekends (as long as I don't get woken up by the members of my household). I couldn't quite get myself back to sleep so ended up laying in bed for a little longer. I had to head back to The Essential Ingredient again to return something so thought I would get an early start on the day and decided to get out of bed and left the house around 9am. (Who would be crazy enough to be out and about at this hour I think to myself). Boy was I slightly suprised to find that a fair bit of the population were already up and about. Because Balmain was not that much further from Rozelle and we missed paying a visit to Adriano Zumbo's Patisserie the day before I thought I might as well drive that little bit further while I was already in the area. As Essential Ingredient's website said they wern't open until 9:30am I thought I would head to Zumbo's first and try to "beat the crowd". The line was already 3 people out the door by the time I got there!

        The first time I tried Zumbo's was September 2009. Ryan and I visited the Cafe Chocolat and shared the "La Vie En Rose" dessert (rose creme brulee, raspberry sorbet, lychees, rose macarons and a coconut strawberry tapioca shake). Didn't take a photo of it at the time but you can have a peak of it at Not Quite Nigella. I also couldn't leave the cafe without buying some chocolates. From my facebook the flavours shown here were hazulnut rocher, mandarin & rose, and H20. They were gorgeous!

        After the cafe we headed back to the patisserie to have a look and grab a few things to take away. And of course I had to have some macarons. Can't quite remember what flavours were here but I do know that they were pretty safe flavours, nothing too extraordinary. They had also travelled around a fair bit in my handbag so were slightly melted by the time we got to eat them. We also bought an apple turnover for my mum and a custard tart for Ryan's mum. We didn't get a taste of neither of them.

        This time I wanted to try Adriano's cakes. I did a little bit of "research" on the website as Adriano releases new ranges every season. It all went out the door when I had a look through the glass display not seeing any of the cakes which were displayed on the website. My first choice was the "Dr Apple", this is from an old summer 2008 collection, read about this collection also at Not Quite Nigella. It's meant to sit alot firmer and taller than pictured. My crazy driving and an already warm morning (plus a stopover at Sydney Essential and then getting sidetracked baking when I got home) meant that this is what I ended up with by the time I pulled it out of the box to take a photo. It actually collapsed a little when I pulled it out of the box and collapsed even more when I attempted to put it back in the box. By the time I got to Ryan's later that evening it had become a flat puddle. We had to stick in in the fridge for it to set a little. I think this is my fave so far, I loved all the flavours and textures even if it was almost a pancake by the time I got to eat it.

        The other cake that caught my eye was this. As I was eyeing the cakes trying to decide what to get (after the Dr Apple) this one caught my eye - because it was nameless and because it looked intriguing. I asked the guy behind the counter what was in it and all I can remember is something along the lines of white chocolate mousse, raspberry and capsicum. It sold me there, I was definately intrigued to try what this combination would taste like! It was definately interesting. The sweet mousse/custard like filling together with capsicum, it was such a strange sensation on the taste buds. I tried to google and blog hop to find out the name/what was in it thinking that it too was part of an old collection. I was quite excited to have randomly come across this blog and the fact that it was a new release for Winter 2010 and that it had only just been invented (perhaps why it didn't have a name early on Saturday morning perhaps the day it was released?). As it was a bit more solid than the Dr Apple it didn't suffer as badly during transportation throughout the day but it was in a pretty poor state compared to the photo when we ate it.

        Of course who can resist the calling of the macarons! Trying some different flavours here which I havn't had before. L-R: Popcorn, Blueberry, Caramel & Coffe, Pear & Vanilla, Mandarin, and Raspberry. I think Ryan has a secret love for macarons too, as soon as I arrived he grabbed the packet and was already asking me which ones I wanted. I insisted that we had to go halves so that we could try ALL the flavours.

        After Zumbo's I stopped over at Essential Ingredient again. Ryan asked for some more organic cola and I grabbed some more of the Belgium chocolate, the Konacha Green Tea Milk Chocolate this time. It was certainly different, and definately enjoyable. I also grabbed a bottle of rosewater to bake some cupcakes to help with some fundraising at church the next day.

        So the girls at church were having a little bake off to raise some funds. I thought that cupcakes were pretty ordinary so had a flip through some cookbooks to get some inspiration as to how mine would be different. Although they do look quite ordinary the cakes are subtly flavoured with rosewater and are quite delish. I got the recipe from one of my books "Cupcake Heaven by Susannah Blake".

My purchases from The Essential Ingredient being put to good use.

        The recipe called for a simple icing using lemon juice (and pink colouring) which complemented my little cupcakes perfectly. The recipe called for sugared rose petals but I thought I would use my lovely little rose buds. 
        I knew that Ryan would love the fact that I had gotten Tetsuya's cookbook. While at my place on Friday night he found a recipe which he wanted to try. It was "Angel hair pasta with asparagus and truffle oil". So Saturday night was the time to cook. A very simple recipe but was absolutely enjoyable to eat. We did alter it a little adding chicken (Ryan insisted we needed a meat) and altering the portions of all the ingredients a little as we had more pasta and ended up chopping up more of each herb that went in.

        Of course our portion sizes and presentation were no where near that of which would be served in Tetsuya's restaurant. Ryan even went back for seconds and said it tasted absolutely amazing eaten cold the next day.

        As it was Earth Hour we decided to eat by candle light and enjoyed each other's company and conversation without any electrical distractions. That is until Earth Hour was over and we had friends show up for a night of playing the board game "Life".

Adriano Zumbo Café Chocolat on Urbanspoon


Phuoc'n Delicious said...

YAY for Zumbo cake! I need my Zumbo dosage.. Feeling a little frail without it.. It's been far too long (about a month or so)!

The cupcakes look so cute and pretty!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a fun day-that's my kind of weekend day! ;) Thankyou so much for the shoutout Angie! I know what you mean, my Zumbo cakes rarely make it home in one piece (and not because I eat them but the same happens with mine and they collapse). Lovely conclusion with Earth Day too! :)

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Hey Phuoc: 6 months between my first and second visit to Zumbo's ;) They were both days off work too. I'm keen to visit the markets nearby (Orange Grove, Rozelle and Balmain) so if we do happen to be in the area again I might have to pay him a visit.

Hi Lorraine: No worries =) I just remembered seeing your post(s) about Zumbo and you just happened to have photographed exactly what I was after. I was so disappointed that I didn't get a perfect photo but all that went out the window once I took a spoonful =D